For the last 20 years I’ve been leading an annual marriage retreat. One main truth keeps coming reoccurring. God did not create marriage to make us happy but to make us holy (for more information on this see Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas). Joining two people with selfish natures and expecting them to sacrifice, yield and put the other first doesn’t happen naturally. Sometimes, married people think singles have an easier life because they don’t have to mesh their life with another imperfect person. But God uses singleness to make them more like Jesus. Also, His purpose for all of us is to be more like Christ. His tools are different but His goal is the same.
My limited experience with singleness came as a young adult in the Army and again later in life when alone in India. I was lonely, but I learned God’s grace was sufficient. I depended on Him in a deeper way and it brought me closer to Him.
Our culture elevates marriage over singleness and that often adds an extra burden to singles. They can feel marginalized. Even in church they can feel less important. God’s perfect will for some is to be single and for others it is to be married (Matthew 19:9-12; 1 Corinthians 7:7, 25-28). Neither is more spiritual. The advantage to singleness is being able to totally focus on God and serve Him (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). A disadvantage is that it can create sexual temptation (1 Corinthians 6:18). God used single people greatly in the Bible. God will use a yielded heart regardless of their marriage status. If you are single, thank God and serve Him faithfully with your life. Ask Him to help you live a holy life and use you in any way He wants. Don’t think of yourself as lacking. Stay focused on God’s plan for your life.
Marriage matters, but it will not last forever (Mark 12:25). One day we will take part in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb as the Bride of Christ (Revelation 7:17; 19:7). That is a marriage that will last for all eternity. (December 31, 2018 Doylestown, PA)
1 Corinthians 7:7 I wish that all of you were as I am (unmarried). But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
1 Corinthians 7: 25 With regard to the question about people who have never married, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthy. 26 Because of the impending crisis I think it best for you to remain as you are. 27 The one bound to a wife should not seek divorce. The one released from a wife should not seek marriage. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned. And if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face difficult circumstances, and I am trying to spare you such problems.
IF YOU ARE SINGLE: Do you ever believe the lie of the enemy that there is something missing because you don’t have a mate? Rebuke that as a lie from Satan and confess it as sin. Thank God for making you who you are and recommit to serving Him in all you do.
IF YOU ARE MARRIED: Do you sometimes treat those who are single differently? Think of someone you know who is single. What can you do to reach out to them and include them in your life?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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